Naming a son is a task that requires a balanced approach. Most people don't want their kids to have the same name as a half-dozen other kids in their school, or even class. Parents also don't want to burden their child with a name that creates an image that doesn't fit, or worse yet, creates one that invites teasing for possibly a lifetime.
You know as well as I that there are just some names you shouldn't slap on a son, unless you want him to endure teasing and possibly playground beat-downs. Oftentimes there's a pressure to name a son after someone, usually a relative, to honor that ancestor or older family member. Unfortunately, that frequently means a name that is old, but not old enough to have become cool again.
Some creativity and diplomacy may be required for these situations. You could use a variation on a favored name or move it to the middle name where it won't be as easily encountered by strangers and friends. Whatever you do, make certain you feel good about the name you choose. Your family and especially your child will live with it forever. It will be in those searches on ancestry websites and family trees. Names outlive us, and for that reason, pick something you love and think will fit your son over his whole lifetime.
From mal'ākhī, a Hebrew word meaning "messenger," Malachi was the name of one of the dozen minor prophets of the Old Testament of the Bible. Malachi foretold the coming of Christ, and warned of Judgement Day. Malachi was a popular name with Puritans, then eventually fell off in popularity before seeing a resurgence in the 1990s.
Currently it ranks at #186 here in the US specifically for boys. In the UK, it ranks a bit lower at #271.
Malachi is a name featured in some big literary works.
In James Joyce's Ulysses, Malachi is a major character. Malachi is also a character in a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Malachi could be shortened to Mal, Mally or Chi (pronounced K-eye). Some may opt for Mac as a nickname as well. Malachi is an ancient name with renewed popularity.
Hayden is an English name comprised of the word for hill (dun) and the word for hay (heg). Its meaning is hay valley or hay hill. Today it is in use for both boys, like actor Hayden Christensen from Star Wars and girls, such as actress Hayden Panetierre from Nashville. Hayden is also a popular pick for celebs to dub their own children, like actor/comic Dennis Miller, and actor turned politician Fred D. Thompson.
Hayden ranks so far this year at #151, so familiar but not overused. It is slightly more popular in the UK, making it into the top 100. Hayden Fox was Craig T. Nelson's character name on the TV show Coach. Hayden Carruth is an American poet and writer. Nicknames could include Hay, Den or Denny.
Colin can be traced back to two root names. The first is the Greek Nicolas, meaning "victory of the people" and the second is Cailean, for which Colin is the Anglicized version. Cailen means, "dove; peace". Colin ranks at #265 in the US so far in 2018.
However, its popularity is higher than that number leads you to believe, because there are other spelling variations not included in that number.
For instance, there are names such as Collin, Collen and Cullen. Colin Jost is a head writer on Saturday Night Live and cohost of the segment, "Weekend Update." Famous Colins include Colin Powell, a four star general and first African American Secretary of State; Colin Kaepernick, NFL player; and actors Colin Farrell and Colin Firth. Pronunciation could be KAHL-in or COAL en.
Zander is from Xander, which is a shortened form of Alexander. Alexander is a Latin form of the name Alexandros which means, "defender of man; warrior." Zander was the name of a character on the TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While Alexander has been a popular name dating back to Alexander the Great, Zander first hit the US name charts in 2000.
Right now it is coming in at #225. So while it's not super-popular, it is not really rare, either. The late country singer, Mindy McCready named her eldest son Zander back in 2006. Zander has a cool modern sound to it, but comes from an ancient name, so you really get the best of both worlds with it. Nicknames include Zan, Zany, Ander and Andy.
Maddock is a Welsh name meaning "benevolent; charitable." It is a fairly commonly seen surname, but rarely used as a first name. How rare? It hasn't charted into the top 1000 in America thus far. However, it could be that Maddock's time is just around the corner with similar names such as Maddox, Magnus and Maximilian rising in use.
Maddock has a strong, masculine sound to it
And lends itself well to nicknames such as Mad, Maddy and Mack or Mac. Maybe even Doc?
Perhaps only if he goes into medicine. Maddock is mostly seen in the US, whether as a first or last name, and much less used in England, Australia and Canada, as well as New Zealand. Maddock is pronounced mædək.
Thatcher is an occupation name for someone who fixes (thatched) roofs. It comes from Old English roots. Trade and occupations such as a thatcher were prestigious positions in medieval times. This first recorded usage of the name Thatcher was in the 1200s. Many people associate the name with one of Mark Twain's enduring characters, Becky Thatcher, from the literary classic, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Becky was Tom's big crush. Thatcher Grey is a character on TV's Grey Anatomy, as the father of the title character. One of the most successful people with the surname Thatcher would have to be Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher is a name that could easily be borrowed from the masculine to be made into a girl's name, as with Taylor and Madison. Nicknames are limited but probably would include Thatch or Thax. It ranks down at #1002.
Jonah was an Old Testament prophet who didn't obey God and go warn a people about their sin and judgement, so when fleeing by ship, God brought judgement on Jonah by bringing a great storm. Thrown overboard, Jonah is swallowed by a whale where he stayed for 3 days. Not surprisingly, Jonah then proceeds to obey God. There's a book of the Bible dedicated to Jonah's story.
Jonah is now rising in popularity, coming in at #147.
Jonas was a popular name until the Reformation, when Protestants preferred the form, Jonah. Jonah is more used in Northern Ireland, coming in at #63. Jonah means "dove," and therefore is associated with peace. Jonah is a character in Vonnegut's novel, Cat's Cradle, and Jonah Hill is an American actor. Nicknames are limited but could include Jon, Jonny and Joe.
Knox comes from an Old English word, cnocc, which meant a hill with a rounded top. The name was widely used as a surname in Scotland, and to a lesser degree England, and specifically for a person who lived near/on a rounded hilltop. One most famous people bearing the surname was John Knox, leader of the Scottish Reformation and founder of the Presbyterian Church.
It was first used in the UK in the 13th century, and was popular in the US in the 19th century, was gone from charts in the 1900s and reemerged in recent years. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have a son, Knox, and there is a character, Knox Overstreet, in the film, Dead Poets Society. Today in America, Knox comes in at #225. It is a nearly nickname proof first name.
Logan comes from the Gaelic lagán which means "little hollow," thus the name is for someone living at a little hollow. While it is a unisex name, it is strongly preferred for males.
Logan ranks at #3 currently for US baby boys, so it is exceedingly popular.
If that's an issue, as far as being one of many Logans in a class, school or town, then perhaps another option would be better.
There is a classic sci-fi film, Logan's Run, and of course, the X-Men character Wolverine, who is named Logan. Logan the Orator is a famed Iroquois leader, while Logan Pearsall Smith was a 19th century writer. There were characters named Logan in Veronica Mars, Dark Angel and Gilmore Girls. Logan is another name that fairly begs to be let alone, no nicknames required.
Rylan has Old English roots and comes down to us by way of the name Ryland, meaning "rye land, or fields where rye is grown." Rylan is a pretty rare name, coming in at #331. It first hit name charts in the 1990s, however. Rylan is a more unique alternative to name staples such as Ryan, Ryder and Riley. It is pronounced RYE-lin.
Nicknames could include Ry, Rylie or Ryle. Rylan Clark-Neal is a British TV personality best known for his appearance on the UK's TV show, The X Factor. Rylan could be used as a female name as well, but is still preferred for baby boys at this time. Rylan sounds very hip and modern, and indeed it is a modern variation of an Old English name.
Titus is an ancient Latin name, with a meaning that's not entirely certain. Some state it means, "title of honor," while others believe it means, "defender." What is known is that some important figures have carried the name over time. For instance, an 8th century BC ruler named Titus Tatius, king of the Sabines, is part of the mythology of the founding of Rome.
Titus was emperor of Rome in 70 AD, and destroyed the temple of Jerusalem, but he also saw his people through the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and the Great Fire.
Titus Andronicus is a Shakespearean play. Titus is also mentioned in the New Testament by St. Paul. Titus ranks at #533, which means it isn't commonly used in the US. Nicknames include Ty or Tye.
Victor is the name of hundreds of saints, a few popes and plenty of Christians dating back to the early church. As the Latin name means, "conqueror," they felt the name represented Christ's victory over sin and death. The French Romantic writer Victor Hugo is the author of Les Miserables and Notre Dame de Paris.
Victor is a name quite popular in the US, especially among Hispanic families. Overall, it ranks at #217 in the US for baby boys. It is also popular in Spanish speaking nations. Victor Frankenstein was the mad scientist who created the monster in Mary Shelley's literary masterpiece. Vic and Vico are the main nicknames for this moniker. Victor Strange is Doctor Strange's vampire brother as well. Victor is a name that any boy can grow into as it has a mature sound to it.
Cameron is a Gaelic name that stems from a nickname, cam sròn, meaning "bent nosed." It's probably based on a crooked nose patriarch of the Scottish clan. Some think it may mean "crooked hill," or "crooked stream." The name is first recorded in documents dating to the 13th century. The Cameron clan is one of the oldest of the Highlands, and considered exceptionally brave and ingenuous. Cameron clan motto is "unite."
Cameron has been used some for girls, but remains a popular boy's name, coming in at #64.
Cameron Crowe is a screenwriter and director of such films as Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire. Cam'ron is a rapper and actor. Cameron Douglas is an actor and part of the famed Douglas acting family including Michael and Kirk. Cam is a logical nickname for Cameron.
Parker's origins are from a French occupational name, parchier, meaning "park-keeper." Then the Old English language borrowed it for the same meaning, or gamekeeper, and the name Parker was born. For you animal lovers out there, a name like this seems a natural fit. Parchiers historically in medieval times would be caretakers of large tracts of land held by royalty and used for hunting grounds, typically.
It was a noble occupation and the name Parker dates back to the 11th century in England. Parker is just outside the top 100 boy names, coming in at #101. Girls are increasingly being dubbed Parker, too, but that hasn't squashed its popularity for boys as of yet. Famed Parkers include Parker Stevenson, actor, Parker O'Donnell (Rosie's son) and music lovers may want to use the name in honor of jazz musician Charlie Parker.
Davin could be traced to a couple different origins. The first is the the Hebrew name David, meaning "beloved." It may also be a variant of the Irish, Devin, meaning "poet." Some think it could have Finnish roots, meaning "bright; shining." So take your pick or combine the selected meanings for your son.
Davin can be pronounced DA-vin to rhyme with Gavin. Or it could be pronounced DAY-vin. Again, parent's pick rules.
Davin is pretty rare as far as names go, only entering name charts in 1969 and never going above #580 a decade or so ago. It's not charting so far this year, so for those yearning for a special, and less common name, Davin may work. If you want to name a child after a relative named David but want a less ubiquitous name, again, Davin could be the right choice.
Simon comes from the Hebrew shim'ōn meaning "to hear or listen." Simon Peter was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. Simon Peter isn't the only Biblical Simon, however. There's one of the 12 tribes named for one, and in the New Testament Simon the Sorcerer invokes Peter's wrath. Simon was recorded in name records dating back to the late 1800s in America. It stayed high in the charts until the 1960s when it abruptly fell off.
For the last few decades, Simon has been creeping back up in popularity. It now ranks #294. A famous Simon from history is Simon Bolivar, a revolutionary leader for whom Bolivia is named. The only notable nickname is Si, but Sim or Sims are also interesting and more unique nicknames for this name.
The name Elijah comes from the Hebrew 'ēlīyāhū meaning "Jehovah is God." Elijah was a major Old Testament prophet, living in the 900s BC. He is written about in the Book of Kings, and is said to have ascended to Heaven in a fiery chariot.
Elijah has been a popular name throughout American history, and has dominated the name charts in comparison to many other Biblical names, currently ranking #8.
Elijah Wood is an actor, Elijah McCoy was an inventor, and Elijah Muhammed, leader of the Nation of Islam. Another famous Elijah was Elijah Lovejoy, an abolitionist publisher who was martyred before the Civil War. Stars with sons named Elijah include Cher, James Spader, Wynona Judd and Bono. Nicknames for Elijah include Eli, Jay and Lijah.
Barrett is a name that is traced to two different sources, and no one is really sure of its development early on as a name. It could be traced to Old English, and meaning "dispute; argument" or it could be from Old German meaning "bear strength." Either way, a formidable foe! Barrett was originally a surname but became a first name during the time of famed poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It currently ranks at #253 in the US.
It's really been peaking in the last few years. Barry is an obvious nickname, but others may opt for Bear, or Ret. Gear heads will recognize the name Barrett-Jackson for the famed classic car auctions. There are no famous Barretts with it as a first name, so perhaps your son could set the type.
Kendrick is a name from Scottish, Gaelic or Welsh roots and depending on how you trace it, it can mean "greatest champion," "high hill," "bold or royal power," or simply "son of Henry." If Dad is Henry, I think you've got a homerun with Kendrick.
Kendrick first emerged on American name charts in the mid-1960s but didn't rise too high until the 1980s.
Famous Kendricks include rapper Kendrick Lamar, an award-winning musical force responsible for the Black Panther soundtrack. Kendrick Clancy is an NFL player for the Saints, Kendrick Perkins is an NBA player and Kendrick Smithyman is a poet from New Zealand. Kendrick is ranking at #521, so still not a common name by any means. Ken, Rick or Kendy are possible nicknames.
Reed is an Old English name meaning "red," probably referring to a ruddy complexion. It could also refer to a redheaded son. Reid spelled this way is considered to be more Scottish, while Reed is English. Reed currently ranks #518 with this particular spelling. Reed Hastings may not be a household name, but he is the founder of Netflix. Reed Johnson is a baseball player, while Reed Whittemore is a poet.
Reed is a simple, straightforward old name that will grow with a baby boy into adulthood. Nicknames are hard to come up with for such a short, one-syllable name. Reed would go well with a three-syllable middle name. Ron Howard, the child actor turned movie director, named his son Reed.
References: BabyNameWizard.com, OhBabyNames.com, ThinkBabyNames.com
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